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Game Developers Conference 2008

Our ramblings of the happenings at GDC 2008 in San Francisco.

Author: GDC2008

Contributors: skywisenight,Taera,Stradden,Szark,

Keith's First Blog: EVE Social Environments

Posted by Szark Wednesday February 20 2008 at 9:25PM
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Ah, the first blog entry.  Jon twisted my arm hard enough and thus I’m forced to write.  I meant to fire one of these off yesterday, but seeing as the floor hadn’t opened yet, and my meetings with convention attendees consisted mostly of introductions and card exchanges, I didn’t really have much to say.  I suppose I could have complained about the flight (2 hours on the tarmac because there’s a storm half a continent away!) but I could only sustain that for a few sentences.  I could comment on my impressions of San Francisco’s lovely architecture, or the crappy internet connection at the hotel, but you’re not reading this to hear me complain (or maybe you are, who am I to tell you why you’re reading this?) 

Babbling aside, my plan here is to tell you what I’ve been doing all day.  I started off my day by attending a presentation by Torfi Olafsson from CCP, called Building Social Environments in EVE’s Space Stations, which ended up being an elaboration on the information that was released at fan fest.  Basically we were given a peek at what the station interiors, avatars, and costumes will look like, as well as a peek at the behind the scenes process behind their creation.  The costumes look good.  CCP hired a designer with real life fashion design credentials to create the clothing, and the presenter showed a flow chart of the design process which was fairly complicated, so they do have a lot of quality control and fine tuning for everything before it goes in.  Players who are looking for a high degree of customization may initially be disappointed, as there will be limited outfit models, tops and bottoms only so no custom sleeves or boots, and no colour sliders.  Limited is probably a bad choice of words, finite fits better.  And the lack of a colour slider is made up for by the fact that you can not only change the colors, you can change the fabric, and the difference in fabrics was noticeable, at least in the demo.  So I lied, those looking for customization won’t be disappointed at all.  Their reasoning for the design choice is simple, they wanted to maintain immersion, and make sure that everything fit into the eve universe.  Whenever the CCP folk want to make this point they put up a picture of Sean Connery in his, um, “outfit” from Zardos.  Funny? Yes.  What I wanted to see first thing in the morning? No.  That’s why they hired real fashion designers.  And that was way more than I wanted to say about that as I think most of that has been said before.  

The rest of the presentation focused on what exactly people will be doing in the new environment.  True to CCP’s philosophy of keeping things in player hands, pretty much everything will be in the player’s control, or more accurately, in the hands of other players.  CCP provides the setting and the tools, but it’s all just empty space until the players show up.  So far planned activities include clothing and plastic surgery shops, bars, a few mini games that will resemble texas hold’em and go, and of course, corporate headquarters.  We were shown an example of corporate headquarters, and the evolution which led them from concept art, to a 3d model, to a fully textured conference room with a guy walking around it.  It was the same one from fanfest, but it led into a brief segment covering the challenges of outsourcing some of the work on the environments.

The design documents were very detailed by necessity of the outsourcing as one of the considerations when working in a global business is that people in other cultures may not have seen the same media as you.  By that I mean, I could say to most artists in the gaming business to make an interior that looks like a cross between Bladerunner and Aliens and they would know exactly what I mean.  If you grew up on another continent you might know what I’m talking about.  Maybe you’ll make a little grey being on ice skates, or a reptiloid in running shoes with a sword.

Anyway, when I start talking about reptiles and greys, that usually means it’s time to quite while I’m ahead.  Of course one must actually be ahead to quite while they’re ahead, and one is rarely ahead while talking about the cohorts of little green men.  So I’ll just quit before I stray further off topic.

Anofalye writes:

I find the reptiloid running in shoes toward sean connery new outfit more entertaining than everything else. :)

Wed Feb 20 2008 11:01PM Report
grimfall writes:

  Maybe you’ll make a little grey being on ice skates, or a reptiloid in running shoes with a sword.

Turns out they have movies and DVD's in other countries than Amerika.  For reference I watched SW Episode 2 in Pune and Aliens Vs Predator in Manila.

Thu Feb 21 2008 7:18AM Report
Drulisle writes:

A reporter really shouldnt try to write when he cant think linearly. Stream of consciousness is fine in a James Joyce novel, not so good when you are trying to convey to others impressions of what you saw/did. We all have our little green(grey) men days...just dont try to work when you are in the middle of one.

Mon Feb 25 2008 8:13AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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